Development Bank of South Africa (DBSA) and South African National Biodiversity Institute; funded by Global Environment Fund (GEF)

Ecological infrastructure is key for South Africa’s water security and there is a need to reverse ecological decline and biodiversity loss in critical catchment areas to safeguard against future water crises. Recognising this need, the DBSA and SANBI received funding from GEF to implement the “Unlocking Biodiversity Benefits Through Development Finance in Critical Catchments” project to restore some of South Africa’s most critical natural assets. The project was approved for implementation by GEF in 2017 and is set to conclude in 2024/2025.

The project is being carried out using a three-pronged approach of:

  1. creating an enabling environment through supportive policies, financing mechanisms and natural capital accounts,
  2. strengthening on-the-ground implementation in two priority catchments, namely the Berg-Breede catchment in the Western Cape province and the Greater uMngeni Catchment in the Kwa-Zulu Natal province, and
  3. gathering and sharing credible knowledge which has been generated through the project to mobilise further action.

OneWorld has been tasked with undertaking the independent Mid-Term Review (MTR) of the project’s progress to determine whether the project will provide improved outcomes for communities through enhanced ecological infrastructure and biodiversity as a result of these, or other, policy shifts and the resultant financial flows; and whether the project, to date, is showing evidence of progress towards achieving this.

To effectively conduct the review, OneWorld will collect both qualitative and quantitative data through document reviews, site visits to the two catchments, and through interviews and online questionnaires with key stakeholders involved in all components of the project. This will allow us to conduct the MTR against the relevant guidelines, such as the DBSA draft monitoring and evaluation guidelines which are aligned with GEF/UNEP guidelines

Project Data


Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA)


Berg-Breede Catchment, Western Cape; Greater uMngeni Catchment, Kwa-Zulu Natal; South Africa


November 2022 to March 2023
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